I share a guest post from Chipper at Healthline.com. This seems hopeful to me when more medications are in the pipeline for MS.....You decide for yourself.....
Pharmaceutical company, Merck KGaA, has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to PI-2301, which is an experimental drug for multiple sclerosis. The drug has already completed Phase II clinical trials. The PI-2301 was previously owned by Peptimmune, a company what went bankrupt earlier this year.
Merck, a German company, had another oral multiple sclerosis drug cladribine, which failed to make the jump to market earlier and was canceled. The head of global development, Susan Herbert said, “Over the years we (Merck) have continuously worked on developing innovative treatment options that meet the individual needs of people living with multiple sclerosis.”
Before it was bought by Merck KGaA, PI-2301, was a second generation originally by Teva’s Copaxone. It was thought to enhance the regulated response immune system. Earlier this year Merck recently acquired the PI-2301, which is due to lose all patent protection in 2014, and generic companies can start competing for business. Merck is already facing generic companies, but still managed to make $3.3 billion last year in 2010.
The PI-2301is designed to improve the regulatory response of the immune system, which is one of the main causes of multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is a disabling disorder. The autoimmune disorder affects the brain and spinal cord and mistakenly attacks and damages healthy body tissue. Multiple sclerosis affects more women than men most commonly between the ages of 20 and 40, but symptoms can be seen at any age. The myelin sheath is damaged and the nerve impulses are stopped or slowed down completely. The PI-2301 works to control the pathogenic autoimmune response which would prevent some mistakenly destroyed myelin sheath.
Merck already makes a drug to treat multiple sclerosis called Rebif. Peptimmune, now bankrupt, had two additional MS drug candidates, which are ready to enter Phase I clinical trails. One drug, ARX 424, is a long acting interferon and the other drug ATX-MS-1467 is an immune-tolerizing agent. The PI-2301, has already been approved last year in Australia and Russia, but is facing issues in other European countries.